Sunday, 31 July 2011

The Eighth Day: Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival

The Eighth Day: Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival

New Delhi, July 30: The eighth day of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival, featuring recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2010, being held between 23-31 July in the premises of Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) here, witnessed one performance by noted artiste, namely – Chandatai Jagdish Tiwadi and Group (Bharud-Folk Theatre of Maharashtra, T. Somasundaram (Karagam-Folk Dance of Tamil Nadu), Krishna Kumari and Group (Bhakha-Folk Music of Jammu and Kashmir), K Chinna Anjanamma and Group (Tolu Bommalata-Shadow Puppetry of Andhra Pradesh)
Profile of artist is detailed below:


Bharud – Folk Theatre of Maharashtra CHANDATAI JAGDISH TIWADI and Group

Born in 1949 in Pandharpur, Maharashtra, Shrimati Chandatai Jagdishprasad Tiwadi took formal training in vocal music at Gandharva Mahavidyalaya, and was a student of Shri Narayanrao Vitthalrao Badve in the mid-1980s. A devotional singer of the Varkari community, she has been singing and enacting Bharud — Sant Eknath’s dramatic poems — for many years, travelling from Alindi to Pandharpur.Shrimati Chandatai Tiwadi has gained wide popularity for her rendition of Bharud. She has been honoured with a number of awards, including the Kirtan Puraskar conferred by the Social Welfare Ministry of the Government of Maharashtra, and the Savitribai Phule Puraskar bestowed by the Zilla Parishad of Solapur. The Bharatiya Marathi Paramparik Lok Kala Parishad has honoured her with the title Bharud Samrajni, and the Saraswati Sangeet Vidyalaya, Bangalore, has presented her its Sankirtan Sourabh Puraskar. She has conducted workshops in Pune for the Song and Drama Division of the Ministry of Information and Broadcasting, Government of India, and has given lecture-demonstrations at the Lok Kala Academy of Mumbai University.Shrimati Chandatai Tiwadi has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for her contribution to the Bharud theatre of Maharashtra.

Karagam – Folk Dance of Tamil Nadu


Born in 1965 in Madurai, Shri Thiyagarajan Somasundaram received his training in folk dances of Tamil Nadu under Shri Om Peria Swami and M. Pitchaiappa. He has specialized in the Dummy Horse Dance, the Peacock Dance, and Oiyilattam. At the same time, Shri Somasundaram has equipped himself academically, obtaining an MA, MPhil, and PhD in the folklore of South India. He has travelled and performed widely in folk dance festivals in India and abroad. Shri T. Somasundaram is today an established performer and teacher of the folk dance and music of South India. A number of young artists have been trained under him in folk dances of the region. To carry this work forward, he has founded the Tamil Nadu Rural Arts Development Centre in Madurai, an institution which has received accredition from Unesco for its work in the folk arts. He has received several honours including the Kalaimamani from the Tamil Nadu Eyal Isai Nataka Manram, a Special Award from the Chief Minister, Tamil Nadu, and the National Youth Award conferred by the Ministry of Youth Welfare and Sports, Government of India. Shri Thiyagarajan Somasundaram has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for his contribution to the folk dance of Tamil Nadu.

Bhakha – Folk Music of Jammu and Kashmir KRISHNA KUMARI and Group


Born in 1949 in Jammu, Shrimati Krishna Kumari received her training in music from Shri Thande Khan and Chaman Masse. A successful performer of the traditional song-form Bhakha for the past four decades, Shrimati Krishna Kumari has also distinguished herself as a composer of songs in this genre. A top-ranking artist of All India Radio and Doordarshan, she has performed in various national festivals. She has also participated in several international events such as the Festival of India in France. For her dedicated work in promoting the traditional music of Jammu, Shrimati Krishna Kumari has been honoured by the State and autonomous organizations. These honours include a gold medal of the Government of Jammu and Kashmir, and an award conferred by the Dogri Sansthan for her lifetime contribution to Dogri folk music. Shrimati Krishna Kumari has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for her contribution to the folk music of Jammu and Kashmir.

Tolu Bommalata – Shadow Puppetry of Andhra Pradesh K CHINNA ANJANAMMA and Group


Born in 1957 in Dharmavaram, Andhra Pradesh, Shrimati K. Chinna Anjanamma belongs to a family of traditional puppeteers. She was initiated into the art of Tolu Bommalata — the shadow puppet theatre of Andhra Pradesh — by her father Shri Sinde Narayanappa and her mother Shrimati Santhamma. She was then only four years old. Shrimati Anjanamma has acquired proficiency in all aspects of the practice of Tolu Bommalata. Her skills cover the making of puppets — cutting, punching, and painting the large figures — besides manipulation and narration. She has entertained rural and urban audiences in Andhra Pradesh, and besides performed in festivals elsewhere in India. In 2004, she participated in the International Puppet Festival in Tolosa, Spain. Shrimati K. Chinna Anjanamma has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for her contribution to the Tolu Bommalata puppet tradition of Andhra Pradesh.

Secretary SNA, Jayant Kastuar observed, “Akademi Awards 2010 covered artist from J&K to Kerala & Maharashtra to Manipur. Our folk art traditions represent the creative expression of the people of the entire substituent. We had four such outstanding presentation today from Maharasthra Jammu & Kashmir, Tamilnadu & Andhra Pradesh. The Megdoot theatre came alive with the sounds & colors of the regions.”

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art traditions of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists in order to set standards in the performing arts, and to restore art and the artists to their rightful place in independent India.

Saturday, 30 July 2011

Visit to Rishikash- Holy city in Uttarakhand

Visit to Rishikash- Holy city in Uttarakhand
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Tags: holy city. rishikest

Margrat,Londoner Lady working for British Standards has come to India to learn eternal wisdom.As she stayed in Janakpuri,New Delhi as paying guest met me during spiritual meeting.

She spoke lovingly about Indian culture and peoples hospitality,exhibited her intention to visit again and again this multifabric and multicultrual land which she emphasised that in her previous birth she has some relation with this beautiful country.

She wanted to drive down tot his eternal land and asked me to accompany her to holy cities.
As we drove from Delhi to Haridwar,she found the place full of sernity,peaceful and watched the Ganges with people having sacred dip.At the time of dusk the sacred water flows with lights on it gave grandeur sight to watch with Ghats beauty at its best.Most of prayers as suggested by the Pundits were done by her and by us also and we moved in the night to one of the Ashrams where the caretaker sadhu gave exemplary display of the Yoga excercise in its best yogamudra.
Next morning we made a visit to holy Shiva temple along the Ganges which also draws lots and lots of devotees.In the afternoon we reached Rishikesh,the self style holy site,the channel city whioch brings the sacred Ganges river from the tumbling,bubbling water to plain city of Rishikesh which has on its north -east series or chains of mountains.
City is spread on both side of river Ganges,residential and city like look on one side and on the other side of Ganges the Line-up of ashram where sages and Madhadish {HIGH PRIEST} is looking after the ashram and propagating the eternal wisdom of the east.
Between the two faction of the city Laxman swing bridge connects the Ashram and unplanned city.
With Ashram running in line offer a corridor of market which has in itself the daily needs shops,bazar with ethnic touch where the facilities of the modern world too are available to connect the incoming tourist with their home in split second.
An evening at Rishikash with prayer to Ganges is the best spiritual treat one can witness where boys and girls of tender age and devotees from all parts of the world sit down at dusk on the Ghats of Ganges in front of Grand size Lod Siva idol with river Ganges flowing from the feet of Lord Shiva gives the most delightful sight to watch.As the children wearing saffron color dress with devotees recite the Ganges Prayer along with other Prayers like Hanuman chalisa,the entire area get vibrant and tears roll down from most of the peoples standing and watching the entire prayer meet for the global peace. The Air gets filled up with compassion,love,honour for all ,peace for globe and human values open up for all.

Santosh Hegde ‘God Father’ BSY ‘God Mother’ of Iron Mining Scam – Exclusive

Santosh Hegde ‘God Father’ BSY ‘God Mother’ of Iron Mining Scam – Exclusive

It was PILs in the Supreme Court that forced Santosh Hegde to come up with this watered down report on illegal mining. As late as 06/05/2011, Bhushan sabotaged investigation done by CEC – demanding inclusion of Lokaykta team about to retire in two months that forced Hedge to hurriedly compile the report otherwise would have retired with zero performance.

I was never convinced about capability of Bhushan and always doubted the integrity of Bhushan and Santosh Hegde. I have no doubt after analyzing the Lokayukt Report, CEC Report and Mining Industry’s own figures Santosh Hedge is God Father of the Mining Mafia along with Chief Minister Yadurappa.

Grounds – Both Santosh Hedge didn’t order to and Prashant Bhushan didn’t pray for District Magistrates and SSP of districts to stop illegal mining in forest areas and monitor movements of trucks, install Weigh Scales at all exit points to record exports of iron ore.

And when cost of mining and transportation to ports was just under Rs.500 per tone for export value of Rs.5000 per tone why Hegde and Bhushan didn’t recommend PSU control of the entire operations, Karnataka earning over Rs.1,00,000 crores for its people i.e. enough to announce tax free budget for 10 years or Karnataka to have tax free budget for decades.

- In Supreme Court order of 06/05/2011 Santosh Hedge gave a figure of just 147 hectare under illegal mining out of just 1081 hectares under illegal encroachments in his first report 18th December, 2008 when illegal iron ore mining was widespread. Can you believe this?

- Date: 06/05/2011. These Matters were called on for hearing today.

However a request is made by Shri Prashant Bhushan, learned counsel for the petitioner in Writ Petition 562 of 2009 that the team should include the

representative of the Karnataka Lokayukta. Accordingly, we direct that the said team shall consist of the following: (i) Senior representative of the Forest

Department (ii) Senior representative from Department of Mines and Geology, State of Karnataka.

From 30MT IO Exports 7 Yrs to 125.7MT in 4 Yrs. to 250MT Industry

- As per the Statement of BSY from 2003-04 to 2009-10, 47 million tones of iron was permitted for exports but reported exports were 77.5 million tone – excess of 30.5 million tones only.

- The total export of iron ore of Karnataka origin during the period 2006-07 till 2010 was 12.57 Crore MT. (125.7 million tones) The figures exclude exports through Murmagao and Panaji ports and exports by M/s Obulapuram Mining Company and M/s Y Mahabaleshwara.

40.7 MT Exports, Reported by BSY at 10.8 MT, Hegde at 21.15 MT but only 3.18 MT Illicit.
- Mining Industry reported production of 40.719 million tones for 2006-07, BSY reported 10.8 million tones of exports and Lokayukta 21.15 million tones. But Santosh Hegde concluded out 21.15 million tones illicit exports were just 3.184 million tones and watered down Illicit Exports to 29.8 million tones Loss of Rs 12,228 crores only. ‘As computed in the table above, estimated value of 2,98,60,647 Metric Tons of illicit iron ore exported during the period 2006-07 to 2010 is Rs 1,22,28,14,22,854/-‘
- Going by Mining Industry figures from 2003 onwards over 250 million tones of iron ore was illegally mined and exported that at average profit margin of Rs.4000 per tone Rs. 1,00,00 crore scam.
- Though Prashant Bhushan who is petitioner in the supreme court alleged Rs.54,000 crores annual loot in Karnataka alone or Rs.270,000 crores in 5 years.
Ravinder Singh
July29, 2011

Friday, 29 July 2011

Admiral Verma takes over as COSC chairman

Navy Chief Admiral Nirmal Verma on Friday took over as the Chairman, Chiefs of Staff Committee, succeeding Air Chief Marshal PV Naik who retires on Sunday.The COSC is the committee of the three Services chiefs and the senior-most of them heads it and works for increasing coordination and synergy among the three forces.

Commissioned into the Navy in 1970, 60-year-old Verma is a specialist in communication and electronic warfare and has four decades of experience spanning across various afloat and ashore appointments.

Sixth Day: Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival

The Sixth Day: Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival

New Delhi, July 28: The Sixth day of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awardees’ Festival, featuring recipients of the Sangeet Natak Akademi Awards 2010, being held between 23-31 July in the premises of Sangeet Natak Akademi (SNA) here, witnessed four performances by noted artistes, namely – Aruna Mohanty – Odissi, Phanjoubam Iboton Singh – Manipuri Ras, Budhatitya Mukherjee – Sitar, and Maya Krishna Rao – Solo theatre performance Quality Street in English.

Profile of these artistes are detailed below:
Born in 1960 in Bhubaneswar, Shrimati Aruna Mohanty stepped into the realm of performing arts under the guidance of her father, Shri Kamala Lochana Mohanty, a well-known theatre personality. She acted in several Oriya plays and films in the mid-1960s in children’s roles. At a later stage, Shrimati Aruna Mohanty started learning Odissi dance under gurus Srinath Rout and Govinda Pal. From 1972 onwards she was a disciple of Shri Gangadhar Pradhan, who groomed her as a dancer, teacher and choreographer. She also had the privilege of receiving guidance in the art from Gurus Pankaj Charan Das, Kelucharan Mohapatra, Sanjukta Panigrahi

and Sonal Mansingh. She also trained in Odissi music under Shri Nirmal Mohanty and Shantanu Das. An outstanding exponent of Odissi dance, Shrimati Aruna Mohanty has won renown both as a performer and teacher. She has performed extensively, participating in prestigious dance festivals in India and abroad. She has trained several young dancers of promise at the Orissa Dance Academy, Bhubaneswar, where she has worked as Member-Secretary since 1993. She has also undertaken research on dance, covering topics such as representation of the male dancer in classical sculpture and evolution of Odissi in the post-Independence era. She has been guest faculty at several U.S. universities including the universities of California, South Carolina, and Cornell. She has received several honours for her work including awards from the Guru Pankaj Charan Odissi Research Foundation and the Sanjukta Panigrahi Memorial Trust. Utkal University, Bhubaneswar, has also accorded recognition to her work in dance. She is at present Vice-President of the Orissa Sangeet Natak Akademi, Bhubaneswar.Shrimati Aruna Mohanty has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for her contribution to Odissi dance.


Born in 1951 in Durgabol village in Assam, Shri Phanjoubam Iboton Singh was initiated in the art of Pung-playing in Nata Sankirtan by Shri Meitram Lalbabu Singh and Shri Meitram Mangol Singh. Later, he trained under Shri Soram Budha Singh and Sanasam Yaima Singh. He subsequently trained and specialized in Manipuri Ras under Gurus K. Lokeshwar Singh, G. Ibopishak Sharma, R.K. Sanayaima Singh and L. Thambalngoubi Devi. He obtained a Post-graduate Diploma both in Ras and Pung at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, Imphal.Shri Iboton Singh has excelled as a performer and teacher of Manipuri dance and as a Pung-player. He has been teaching since 1984 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Manipur Dance Academy, and is presently serving as its Pradhan Guru. He has performed extensively in India and other countries including China, South Korea, Greece, Spain, Italy, France and Germany. He has written two books in Manipuri titled Manipuri Ras Amashung Atei Krishna Lilasing and Maharas Amashung Kunjaras Punglon.He has received several honours including the Manipur State Kala Akademi Award, the Gold Medal of the Manipur Sahitya Parishad, and the title of Nitya Bhushan conferred by the Manipuri Sahitya Parishad of Assam.Shri Phanjoubam Iboton Singh has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for his contribution to Manipuri dance.

Born in 1955 in Durg in Chhattisgarh, Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee received his training in the Sitar from his father Shri Bimalendu Mukherjee, an eminent musician of the Imdadkhani gharana. At the same time he qualified as a metallurgist, receiving a gold medal for his performance in B.E. from the Government College of Engineering and Technology, Raipur, in 1977.Since the start of his career in the 1970s, Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee has been hailed as an artist of outstanding merit. Upholding the tradition of the Imdadkhani gharana of Sitar, he has acquired a lyrical style in his music that reflects the gayaki ang. The depth of his alap and his intricate tankari mark his mastery over his instrument. He has performed extensively in festivals both in India and abroad. He has the distinction of being invited to perform in Britain’s House of Commons in 1990. He has played frequently over All India Radio and Doordarshan, and has a large number of recordings to his credit. For his outstanding musicianship, Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee has been conferred high honours by the Government of Madhya Pradesh. These include the Ustad Allauddin Khan Fellowship awarded in 1977 and the Kumar Gandharva Samman bestowed in 1994. Shri Budhaditya Mukherjee has received the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for 2010 for his contribution to Hindustani instrumental music.

Born in 1953 in New York, Shrimati Maya Krishna Rao is based in Delhi. Actor, director, writer, educator and activist, she is recognized as an original, innovative, and vastly talented creator of theatre today. Since the late 1970s, she has produced a body of work that has provoked her audiences to delve into social and political issues, even as it has amused and entertained them. A founder-member of the street theatre group Theatre Union, Shrimati Maya Rao scripted, directed, and performed powerful street plays such as Om Swaha, a critique of dowry, and Dafa No. 180, on the Indian rape law, between 1979 and 1982. In later years, she has produced a succession of compelling single-actor plays such as Ravanama, Are You Home Lady Macbeth?, A Deep Fried Jam, and Heads Are Meant for Walking Into. Quality Street, based on a short story by the Nigerian writer Chimamanda Adichie, was presented by her to great acclaim last year. Shrimati Maya Rao has received training in Kathakali from Gurus Madhava Pannikar and Sadanam Balakrishnan. She has studied politics at Jawaharlal Nehru University, Delhi, and theatre arts at Leeds University, UK. She has worked briefly with the Perspectives Theatre Company in Nottingham, UK, designing programmes of community interest, and with the Leeds Playhouse Theatre-in-Education Company creating theatre programmes for schools. At home, too, she has been much involved with children’s theatre, conceiving, scripting, and directing a number of plays for NSD’s TIE Company. She was Associate Professor at NSD from 1985 to 1990, and has been visiting faculty at the School since those years. A member of NCERT's National Curriculum Framework Committee, she has drafted a drama syllabus for Classes I to XII. A Doordarshan film was made on her work in 1997, titled Portrait of Maya Krishna Rao. She has been featured in Women Who Dared, a book on twenty notable Indian women of the last fifty years, published by the National Book Trust. Shrimati Maya Krishna Rao receives the Sangeet Natak Akademi Award for her contribution to Indian theatre as an actor.

The Akademi Fellowship (Akademi Ratna Sadasyata) and Akademi Award (Akademi Puraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

Sangeet Natak Akademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art traditions of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists in order to set standards in the performing arts, and to restore art and the artists to their rightful place in independent India.

Thursday, 28 July 2011

ICCCI 2011- 2 to 4 December 2011 Bangkok, Thailand

2011 International Conference on Computer and
Computational Intelligence(ICCCI 2011)
2 to 4 December 2011
Bangkok, Thailand

The ICCCI 2011 conference proceeding will-proudly published by ASME Press, and will be,included in ASME Digital Library, and indexed by EI Compendex, Thomson ISI Proceedings.

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 15 August 2011.

Web address:

Lok Satta's media release has covered five major issues;-

Lok Satta's media release has covered five major issues;-

Demand for exemplary punishment for Mr. A. Raja, former Communications Minister, and all others.
Nation should debate ways and means of strengthening institution of Prime Minister particularly in an era of coalition Governments.
Prime Minister should have sacked Mr. Raja and ordered his prosecution thereby abdicated his responsibility.
The Prime Minister ought to have taken the risk of dissolving the Lok Sabha and seeking a fresh mandate thereby did not show the courage to lead the country.
In current nature of politics, coalition partners weaken the Prime Minister and paralyze administration.
Let us first be realistic because if we are not, we may not find the right answers to the problem;-

Unholy coalition governments based on only for power sharing on the basis of arthmatic numbers in parliament and state assemblies are a reality.
Unholy alliances between parties to win elections is a reality.
Money/muscle power and vote bank politics is a reality.

We must also realise that the above is happening not alone by the choice of political parties but due to the incentive mechanism created by the parliamentary system of government formation coupled with first-past-the-post (FPTP) system of election and undemocratic political parties.

We request all of you to go through the attached 100 page document to appreciate this. We urge you all that if we raise debate we must find time to go in to details and there fore we request you to go through this document carefully.

Coming back to the issue of the Prime Minister, what Lok Satta is saying is that he is guilty of abdicating his responsibility by not sacking Raja in time and so on....and for not taking firm stand on the issue of spectrum..................rather..he came under pressure of coalition politics.

Therefore suggestion promoted by Lok Satta is can we debate ways and means of strengthening institution of Prime Minister.

One possible solution could be, can we have law, which allows the Prime Minister, once elected by Lok Sabha, to choose his own cabinet not necessarily from the members of parliament. This law is possible as with Lok Satta's effort in 2003, we got a law which now limits the size of cabinet.
Another suggestion could be to have law to have only two parties, but given the completely undemocratic nature of political parties, this could be dangerous.
Another suggestion could be to have presidential form, but we need to consider the merits and demerits of this in light of that Indian society worships power and feudalism and can give birth to dictatorship through presidential system.

We must also realise that we as Indians are equally guilty of abdication of our duty and responsibility of engaging ourselves in democracy, politics and electoral politics as we did prior to Independence and two decades thereafter. While the prime minister shall be punished for abdication of his duty, we all should be punished for abdication of our responsibility. Our punishment is in having repeatedly people like the week Dr. Singh, Shri A. Raja, Shri Pappu Yadav and like many who are sitting in parliament and assemblies.

Lok Satta has now ground experience as NGO for 10 years and 5 years as political party. The best and brightest and educated middle classes are shying away in engaging themselves with democracy in any meaningful way.

Once you all have gone through, the attached document, we will continue our debate.

India signs civil nuclear deal with S.Korea

India signs civil nuclear deal with S.Korea-India on Monday signed a civil nuclear cooperation deal with South Korea, allowing a framework for Korean companies to participate in atomic power plant projects in the country.The agreement was signed after a meeting between President Pratibha Patil with her South Korean counterpart Lee Myung-Bak.South Korea has become the ninth country which had signed nuclear agreement with India after it got the waiver from the Nuclear Suppliers' Group (NSG) in 2008.The others are the US, France, Russia, Canada, Mongolia, Kazakhstan, Argentina and Namibia, an official said.South Korea operates 20 nuclear plants that generate some 35 percent of its electricity needs, and is keen to export its technology to fast developing countries like India.

"The two countries have just concluded and signed a bilateral agreement on cooperation in the peaceful uses of nuclear energy," said Sanjay Singh, Secretary (East), Ministry of External Affairs.

"It is like other civil nuclear agreements signed between India and other countries. We look forward to Republic of Korea for becoming one more partner in the development of civil nuclear energy in India," the official said without divulging further details on the agreement and its mandate but termed the deal as a "win-win" for both the nations.

Both India and South Korea decided to start talks on civil nuclear cooperation during a meeting between Prime Minister Manmohan Singh and South Korean President Lee on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Hanoi in October last year.

The nuclear agreement was signed by Dr Srikumar Banerjee, Secretary Department of Atomic Energy and Kim Sung Hwan, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Korea.

Earlier, Patil and her South Korean counterpart Lee held a 20-minute restrictive meeting followed by a delegation level talks for over an hour at 'Blue House', official residence of Korean President.Patil is on a week-long tour of Korea and Mongolia.Besides the agreement on nuclear cooperation, the two sides also signed a Memorandum of Understanding on media exchanges and another agreement on administrative arrangements to provide social security to people working in India and Korea.The MoU on media was signed by Singh and Choung Byoung-gug, Minister for Culture, Sports and Tourism.The third agreement for administrative arrangements for social security was signed by Skand Ranjan Tayal, Ambassador of India to South Korea and Chin Soo Hea, Minister of Health and Welfare.

Briefing the media on the deliberations between the two Presidents, Singh said both the countries also discussed the expansion of defence cooperation."Increased naval and coast guard cooperation was a possibility that was touched upon in the discussions. They deliberated on issues pertaining to co-production of defence equipment, transfer of technology and joint Research and Development," the Secretary said."They also discussed the possibilities of cooperation in the peaceful uses of outer space. India looks forward to once again launching Korean satellites on Indian rockets," Singh quoting Patil as saying to the President Lee adding that "our facilities are of high quality and are available at competitive price."

Patil also invited Korean companies to invest in India and explore business opportunities."Rashtrapatiji conveyed to President Lee that the investment environment in India is improving rapidly and invited more Korean companies to invest in India and make it their base for manufacturing operations including for export to third countries," Singh said.

She pointed out that Indian pharmaceuticals and IT services are of high quality and requested the government of Republic of Korea (ROK) to enhance market access for these Indian products in the Korean market.Both the Presidents agreed to encourage greater people-to-people exchanges and stressed to start more direct flights between India and South Korea.

"For this purpose, we have to amend our Civil Aviation Agreement so as to grant each other's carriers fifth freedom rights. They agreed to do this soon," the official said.They also talked about India's proposal of revival of Nalanda University besides discussing regional and national issues."They decided to increase cooperation and coordination in the East Asia summit process and also the issues pertaining to Asia pacific," he said.

Patil will leave for Mongolia on 27th July. The visit to both the East Asian nations is part of the country's 'Look East Policy' to further mutual cooperation.

Patil also offered floral tributes to a bust of Nobel laureate Rabindranath Tagore near Seoul on the occasion of his 150th birth anniversary.

Tuesday, 26 July 2011

Imagine TV’s new show ‘Gajab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaaniyaan’,

Ever heard of a man who has not taken bath for 37 years, or two families who combat each other and use ghosts as their weapons, or a woman who prefers to stay perched on a cell phone tower for days, to avoid getting married to a man her parents chose! Yes, India is a unique country with very unique stories.

Gear up to watch the most extraordinary & bizzare stories from our country on -Imagine TV as it launches Gajab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaaniyaan, hosted by the fun & entertaining - Rakhi Sawant, starting 29th July 2011, Friday – Saturday at 10pm

Produced by UTV, Gajab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaaniyaan, is a unique showcase of strange stories that highlight the wacky lives and strange beliefs that exist in our country. The show will bring together the funniest stories from across the country; stories that will leave you holding your tummy in laughter and your head in disbelief! As the host of the show Rakhi Sawant will bring these stories to the viewers in her trademark, over-the-top & unpretentious style. With Rakhi in the midst of the proceedings, dollops of entertainment and fun are guaranteed.

Says Rakhi Sawant, “I am elated to be back at doing what I do best – Entertain! My audience loves me and so do I. This time around I will be host of the baap of all shows, where you will witness some of the most bizarre incidents that are sure leaved you shell-shocked and rolling on the floor in splits of laughter. All I can say is ‘It Happens only in India’.”

Speaking on the launch of the show, Mr. Santosh Nair, CEO, TV Content – UTV said, “It’s not every day that you get a chance to witness some of the most unusual stories that our country has to offer. So Gazab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaniyan was conceptualized to showcase these peculiar tales to the audiences, but in an interesting format! Rakhi is definitely the ideal choice for the host, someone who will bring in an element of humour and entertainment, in her own unique style! It is a pleasure to work with Imagine TV yet again and with the stories that the show will bring forth, Gazab Desh Ki Ajab Kahaniyan is pegged to be one of the most captivating shows on television

Monday, 25 July 2011

Bring back black money stashed abroad: Baba-Ramdev

Nksagar-Sagar-Media-Inc:Bring back black money stashed abroad,said Yoga Guru-Baba-Ramdev,briefing the media Favorited-topic.Baba Ramdev today said on former tele-minister A Raja statement in court about the 2G spectrum,the allocation done with the consent of Prime Minister and the then Finance Minister P Chidambaram."Then Why not the role of these two to be probed?.Baba Ramdev asked for the resignation of PM Manmohan Singh &-Home Minister P Chidambaram,making profits not illegal,way profit is made is legal or illegal,opportunity to make profit is given to ones own coterie then,it illegal transaction.Further added government not serious to weed out corruption.

But The CBI has issued a look-out notice against Balkrishna, an aide of Yoga guru Ramdev, after it registered a case against him. The agency has earlier said Balkrishna used fake degree to get his passport. The official sources reports, the agency has issued the look-out notice so that he does not flee the country.Ramdev-strongly defended his colleague at "Meet the Press"Constitution club,New Delhi today:Baba-said case against Acharya Balkrishna is fabricated, had Balkrishan degrees been fake he would not have attached them with his application to get a passport."One do not require degrees to get a passport,illiterates are entitled to a passport.What benefit would one get by attaching fake degree?” Baba asked.

Investigations on Balkrishna's citizenship are also underway to ascertain whether he is an Indian or Nepali citizen. Official sources say, besides questions being raised about his nationality, Balkrishna is under the scanner of the central investigating and law enforcement agencies for allegedly amassing wealth worth several crores of rupees disproportionate to his known sources of income.

Supreme Court on Monday decided to view the video footage of Delhi Police crackdown on yoga guru Ramdev and his followers. A bench of justices B S Chauhan and Swatanter Kumar decided to watch the two-hour video recording of the entire incident on 5th August at 4.15 PM.

Turning down Ramdev's plea to implead Chidambaram, who had defended the Delhi Police action, the bench said it is not expanding the ambit of the case and the focus is to examine the circumstances which led to the June 4 incident. The bench said it is not making the Home Minister a party to have his say in the case at this stage but will keep the issue open. Expressing concern over the incident, the bench said, innocent persons should not be beaten up by whosoever.

Opposition,Bharatiya Janata Party demands the "immediate-resignation" of Prime Minister,Manmohan Singh and then finance-minister P Chidambaram following the statements jailed former telecom-minister A Raja made in court.They have lost
all political and moral right to continue in their positions for even
a minute longer," BJP President,Nitin Gadkari add.

Festival of Performing Arts begins, Akademi Awardees showcase their Art

Festival of Performing Arts begins, Akademi Awardees showcase their Art.

New Delhi, : The first day of Festival of Performing Arts, featuring recipients of the SangeetNatakAcademi Awards 2010, being held between 23-31 July in the premises of Sangeet Natak Academi(SNA) here, witnessed two captivating performances from two notedl artistes – Pt. Yashpal and Mr. Nityanand Haldipur.

Highly acknowledged Hindustani classical vocalist -Pt. Yashpal’senchanting recital left the rasicasmoved, yet spell bound. Mr. JayantKastuar, Secretary, SNA, said, “It was a rare performance of a senior and reputed artist Pt. Yashpaul to regaled the rasicas with his choicest composition.”

PtYashpalwas born in Western Punjab in 1937. He is also an excellent composer who has composed rare ragas under the name ‘SagunPiya’. A top-ranking artist of AIR and Doordarshan, he is recipient of SangeetShiromani award in 2004 and Punjab SangeetNatakAcademi award in 2008.

The second performance wasgiven byNityanandHaldipur, a well-known flute artist. Mr. Haldipur has received SangeetNatakAcademi Award (Puruskar) for Hindustani Instrumental Music.Quipped JayantKastuar, Secretary, SNA, “Haldipurji has hallmark of his venerable Guru Smt. Annapurna Devi, the daughter of the legendary master UstadAllauddin Khan.”

Mr. Haldipur, born in 1948 in Bombay, received training from Smt. Annupurna Devi, the eminent musician of the MaiharGharana. He is famous for his contemplative alap in the manner of Dhrupad and his distinctly formatted jodand jhala. Like Mr. Yashpaul, he too is a top-ranking artist of AIR and Doordarshan. He has presented recitals in a number of major festivals both in India and abroad.

Earlier, in the morning, Mrs. ShantaSarabjeet Singh, Vice-President and Mr. JayantKastuar, Secretary of SangeetNatakAcademi handed-over Tamrapatra, Angvastram and purse money of Rs. 3 Lakh to Rahim FahimuddinDagarat Fortis Hospital, VasantKunj. Mr. Dagar, a renowned Dhrupad musician, is one of the four recipients of Academy Fellowships(AkademiRatnaSadasyata) this year and could not attend the award ceremony yesterday due to his ill health.

Starting from today, the festival will showcase 26 performances by exceptional artists till 31st July. All the artists are recipients of SangeetNakakAcademi Fellowships and awards for this year. The fellowships and awards were conferred yesterday by the Vice-President of India.

The Akademi Fellowship (AkademiRatnaSadasyata) and Akademi Award (AkademiPuraskar) are the most coveted national honours conferred on performing artists, gurus and scholars of the performing arts. These honours are decided by the Akademi’s General Council, the apex body consisting of eminent artists, scholars and nominees of the Government of India and of different States and Union Territories of the country.

SangeetNatakAkademi, established by the Government of India on 31 May 1952, is the National Academy of Music, Dance and Drama. It was created as the apex body in the country for the task of preservation and promotion of the performing art traditions of India. One of the important activities of the Akademi has been to give recognition and honours to artists in order to set standards in the performing arts, and to restore art and the artists to their rightful place in independent India.

Sunday, 24 July 2011

India Bangladesh Trade surge by 45 Per Cent in 2010-11

The Union Minister of Commerce, Industry and Textiles, Shri Anand Sharma jointly inaugurated Border Haat at Kalaichar, West Garo Hill District in Meghalaya with his Bangladesh counterpart Mr. Muhammad Faruk Khan today. Speaking on the occasion Shri Sharma said “The Haats would focus on importance of restoration of economic and commercial ties between the people living on either side of our Borders.” He also announced that the second Border Haat proposed at Balat on Indian side and Lauwaghar on Bangladesh side will also be inaugurated shortly. “I am confident that the opening of Border Haats will make the border villages on both sides more prosperous through improved market accessibility for their locally produced goods. It is estimated that bilateral trade worth 20 million US $ will take place annually from the Border Haats” he added. It made for an emotional moment when India & Bangladesh traders met after 40 years at Kalaichar in Meghalaya.

The commodities sold in the designated Border Haats are exempted from the payment of customs duties. Commodities are allowed to be exchanged in the designated Border Haats in local currency and/or barter basis. Estimated value of such purchases shall not be more than respective local currency equivalent of US $ 50 for any particular day. Residents of the area within five km radius from the location of Border Haat will be allowed to sell and buy products in the Border Haats. Vendors and vendees in the Border Haats will carry photo identity cards.

The bilateral trade between the two countries has increased from US $ 2.7 billion in 2009-10 to US $ 3.9 billion in 2010-11 showing an increase of around 45%. The growth of exports from Bangladesh to India has also shown an increase from US $ 0.25 billion in 2009-10 to US$ 0.39 billion in 2010-11.

Shri Sharma recalled that during the recent visit of the External Affairs Minister of India to Bangladesh, instruments of ratification in respect of the Bilateral Investment Promotion and Protection Agreement (BIPPA) were exchanged which will greatly facilitate two-way investments. The agreement aims at creating favourable conditions for fostering and encouraging investments between the two countries.

Both the countries have made significant forward movement in their cooperation in the power sector, including establishment of grid connectivity upto 500 MW of power from India of which 250 MW will be at a preferential rate. India responded positively to Bangladesh's request for setting up of a high technology joint venture thermal power plant of 1320 MW capacity at Khulna and has completed the feasibility report.

In addition to the Border Haats, both sides are working on several projects to improve trade infrastructure and connectivity. Border Management Department of Ministry of Home Affairs in India is developing 7 Integrated Check Posts (ICPs) on India – Bangladesh Border viz; Petrapole, Agartala, Dawki, Hili, Chandrabangha, Sutarkhandi and Kawarpuchiah. Further, India is also developing infrastructure at 8 Land Custom Stations along the Indo – Bangladesh border at a cost of Rs.108.19 crores. The Land Custom Stations are Borosora, Dalu, Ghasupara, Mahadipur, Hilli, Phullbari, Srimantpur and Gojadanga. The total projected cost of all the ICPs and LCSs being developed is 125 US $ million.

India has welcomed the offer of the Bangladesh Government to the use of Chittagong and Mongla Ports. This will, no doubt provide tremendous benefit for trade and development of Bangladesh as well as the North-East of India. India has already finalised and shared the draft modalities with the Bangladeshi side.

India is now able to provide Buyers Credit to Bangladesh Government agencies for large project exports, especially in the infrastructure sector such as roads, bridges, railways, power lines, sewerage plants, water treatment plants and housing. The credit spanning over a period of 5-8 years will be provided under National Export Insurance Account (NEIA) through Exim Bank.

The Minister conveyed that a number of the proposals received for utilisation of the 1 billion US Dollars Line of Credit from India which was agreed during the visit of Prime Minister of Bangladesh in January, 2010, are under implementation.

Saturday, 23 July 2011

What we learnt from nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

From: TCG Menon
Date: 13 April 2011 13:51
Subject: What we learnt from nuclear catastrophe in Japan.

Please read the articles given below:- What we learnt from nuclear catastrophe in Japan.
So far a very few Indians have understood the serious implications of this natural calamity which befell Japan. The UPA Govt. is least bothered because they have signed many dangerous nuclear deals with USA and France for untested critical nuclear reactors without taking into account the actual power requirement . Probably UPA will be getting huge amounts from these deals as commission. I was waiting to know what really went wrong in a country like Japan, which has more experience than any other country to tackle radioactive materials . Now I got a report explaining the full details. What happened in Japan is a clear proof that there is a super natural power which controls the universe. I am quoting below some of the important happenings, what went wrong and what are the safety devices which were provided in the plant to meet any eventuality, but all these failed beyond anybody’s imagination. In this scenario where do we stand/? How safe are our reactors, particularly those situated near the seashore? Please read the article given below:-
Attributed To: Dr. Josef Oehmen, MITIn order to control the nuclear chain reaction the reactor operators use so called “moderator rods”. The moderator rods absorb the neutrons and kill the chain reaction instantaneously. A nuclear reactor is built in such a way, that when operating normally, you take out all the moderator rods. The coolant water then takes away the heat (and converts it into steam and electricity) at the same rate as the core produces it. And you have a lot of leeway around the standard operating point of 250°C. The challenge is that after inserting the rods and stopping the chain reaction, the core still keeps producing heat. But a number of intermediate radioactive elements are created by the uranium during its fission process, most notably Cesium and Iodine isotopes, i.e. radioactive versions of these elements that will eventually split up into smaller atoms and not be radioactive anymore. Those elements keep decaying and producing heat. Because they are not regenerated any longer from the uranium (the uranium stopped decaying after the moderator rods were put in), they get less and less, and so the core cools down over a matter of days,
“What happened at Fukushima I will try to summarize the main facts.”
The earthquake that hit Japan was 7 times more powerful than the worst earthquake the nuclear power plant was built for (the Richter scale works logarithmically; the difference between the 8.2 that the plants were built for and the 8.9 that happened is 7 times, not 0.7). So the first hooray for Japanese engineering, everything held up.
When the earthquake hit with 8.9, the nuclear reactors all went into automatic shutdown. Within seconds after the earthquake started, the moderator rods had been inserted into the core and nuclear chain reaction of the uranium stopped. Now, the cooling system has to carry away the residual heat. The residual heat load is about 3% of the heat load under normal operating conditions. The earthquake destroyed the external power supply of the nuclear reactor. That is one of the most serious accidents for a nuclear power plant, and accordingly, a “plant black out” receives a lot of attention when designing backup systems. The power is needed to keep the coolant pumps working. Since the power plant had been shut down, it cannot produce any electricity by itself any more.
Things were going well for an hour. One set of multiple sets of emergency Diesel power generators kicked in and provided the electricity that was needed. Then the Tsunami came, much bigger than people had expected when building the power plant (see above, factor 7). The tsunami took out all multiple sets of backup Diesel generators.
When designing a nuclear power plant, engineers follow a philosophy called “Defense of Depth”. That means that you first build everything to withstand the worst catastrophe you can imagine, and then design the plant in such a way that it can still handle one system failure (that you thought could never happen) after the other. A tsunami taking out all backup power in one swift strike is such a scenario.
The last line of defense is putting everything into the third containment (see above), that will keep everything, whatever the mess, moderator rods in our out, core molten or not, inside the reactor. When the diesel generators were gone, the reactor operators switched to emergency battery power. The batteries were designed as one of the backups to the backups, to provide power for cooling the core for 8 hours. And they did. Within the 8 hours, another power source had to be found and connected to the power plant. The power grid was down due to the earthquake.
The diesel generators were destroyed by the tsunami. So mobile diesel generators were trucked in. This is where things started to go seriously wrong. The external power generators could not be connected to the power plant (the plugs did not fit). So after the batteries ran out, the residual heat could not be carried away any more.
At this point the plant operators begin to follow emergency procedures that are in place for a “loss of cooling event”. It is again a step along the “Depth of Defense” lines. The power to the cooling systems should never have failed completely, but it did, so they “retreat” to the next line of defense. All of this, however shocking it seems to us, is part of the day-to-day training you go through as an operator, right through to managing a core meltdown. It was at this stage that people started to talk about core meltdown. Because at the end of the day, if cooling cannot be restored, the core will eventually melt (after hours or days), and the last line of defense, the core catcher and third containment, would come into play.
But the goal at this stage was to manage the core while it was heating up, and ensure that the first containment (the Zircaloy tubes that contains the nuclear fuel), as well as the second containment (our pressure cooker) remain intact and operational for as long as possible, to give the engineers time to fix the cooling systems. Because cooling the core is such a big deal, the reactor has a number of cooling systems, each in multiple versions (the reactor water cleanup system, the decay heat removal, the reactor core isolating cooling, the standby liquid cooling system, and the emergency core cooling system). Which one failed when or did not fail is not clear at this point in time.
So imagine our pressure cooker on the stove, heat on low, but on. The operators use whatever cooling system capacity they have to get rid of as much heat as possible, but the pressure starts building up. The priority now is to maintain integrity of the first containment (keep temperature of the fuel rods below 2200°C), as well as the second containment, the pressure cooker. In order to maintain integrity of the pressure cooker (the second containment), the pressure has to be released from time to time. Because the ability to do that in an emergency is so important, the reactor has 11 pressure release valves. The operators now started venting steam from time to time to control the pressure. The temperature at this stage was about 550°C. This is when the reports about “radiationleakage” starting coming in.” Inserting moderator rods is tricky. Moderator rods will not be able to insert inside the core in case of any slight misalignment between the core and the moderator rod due to earth quake. But in the case of Japan it is not clear whether the moderator rod was fully inserted inside the core in all the six reactors. Considering that they are still struggling to bring down the reactor temperature, it is quite possible that the moderator rods were not fully inserted inside the cores. It is a well known fact that mechanical equipments get jammed in case of slight misalignment in the device. So they are not at all suitable for earth quake- prone areas.
Now let see what the condition in India .
We have three types of reactors.
1) Light water reactor ( Boiling type reactors) . Here we use enriched Uranium as fuel and light water for cooling.
2) Heavy water reactors use ordinary uranium with heavy water for cooling and as a moderator.
3) One Fast breeder reactor ( FBR) of 500 Mw capacity is under construction with indigenous know- how to use thorium as mixed fuel to produce U 233 from Thorium U232. for our third stage as per the vision of our great nuclear scientist, the late Homi Bhabha. Initially U233 produced from FBR will be used with Thorium U 232 in another reactor for producing electricity. Since no plutonium is generated in a Thorium cycle, the spent fuel is not highly radioactive as in the case of uranium cycle.
“The KAMINI (Kalpakkam Mini) reactor is a Uranium-233 fueled, demineralized light water moderated and cooled, beryllium oxide reflected, low power nuclear research reactor. It is located in the post irradiation examination facility of Radio Metallurgy Laboratory, Indira Gandhi Centre for Atomic Research, Kalpakkam, India. “
People of this country should know that India is far ahead than any other country in the world in Thorium cycle. Only problem is that we have to continue to use heavy water reactors and Fast breeder reactors to get enough U233 to use in the third stage with thorium U232.
Read more: the light water reactor and heavy water reactor we have to replace the fuel every two years. We can put new fuel or can recycle the used fuel. Actually we are using about 4% of the fuel in two years . But we have to remove the highly radio -active plutonium while recycling to get full capacity after two years.. Since the plutonium is of weapon grade, countries like USA and Australia are not allowing us to reprocess the spent fuel, as we have not signed the NPT. Storage of the highly radioactive fuel is a very costly and dangerous affair. In Japan, the water entered in to the stored spent fuel and the whole water got contaminated with radioactive material.
The major problem with all these rectors is that there are no devices so far invented to bring down the temperature to prevent core melting in case circulating cooling water system failed after stopping the chain reaction immediately in case of accident. A nuclear reactor is like a pressure cooker. So it is not advisable to increase the number of reactors particularly imported reactors at double the cost of the indigenous one.
In a nuclear reactor the heart of the system is coolants and its proper working. The most unfortunate part in the case of Japan is that all the backup protections failed due to natural calamities.
What is the solution for all these problems?
Some countries including India is trying to develop Accelerator Driven Sub-Critical Systems (ADS) nuclear reactor . In this connection a report is given below:-The best thing should be to develop Accelerator Driven Sub-Critical Systems (ADS) nuclear reactor .Development of Accelerator Driven Sub-Critical Systems (ADS) nuclear reactor is the latest addition to the Indian nuclear programme. ADS can provide a strong technology base for large scale thorium utilisation. As a first step towards realisation of ADS, DAE has launched to development of proton injector. To carry out experimental studies on sub-critical assemblies, a 14 MeV neutron generator has also been upgraded with a higher current ion source.
Norway and Australia are interested to develop ADS as they have large quantity of thorium like India. This is the safest reactor as the chain reaction stops immediately when we switch off proton injecter in the case of Thorium-based nuclear energy. But here also cooling is important after stopping the chain reaction in the reactor to avoid core melt down. Even if there is blow out the material coming out from the reactor is not highly radioactive like uranium reactors. The problem with nuclear reactor is that it is not exposed to natural cooling like conventional boilers or furnaces. So it has to be cooled through circulation of coolants. The complicated process of insertion of moderator rod can be avoided in the case of Accelerator Driven Sub-Critical Systems (ADS) nuclear reactor . We can recycle the fuel as it does not produce weapon - grade plutonium. Slowly we can decommission the existing critical reactors. In this connectio please read the Interview with Professor Egil Lillest- Go
In Norway, there has been a passionate debate about whether the country should convert to nuclear energy or not. Since April last year, Professor Lillest has been on the TV and radio advocating nuclear energy. But not just any form of nuclear energy — his ideas are based on the new technology of thorium, which promises what uranium has never delivered: abundant, safe and clean energy — and a way to burn up old radioactive waste. In addition, there is no by-product that can be used for nuclear bombs — one more reason for developing this technology!
Professor Lillest? l is not a newcomer to the field of nuclear energy. For more than forty years, he has dedicated his life to physics, and in particular nuclear physics, spending his time between the University in Bergen, where he is Professor of Physics, and CERN — the European Organization for Nuclear Research, where he has been the Vice Director for the Physics Department. Professor Lillest?l has also had PhD students from some of the most prestigious universities in Europe, such as the French ?cole politechnique, the ?cole normale sup?rieure and the Coll?ge de France.
We were able to meet him in Geneva where he told us about his commitment and why nuclear energy is be-coming so important. So we leave the floor to Professor Lillest?l …
Let me first give you some background information. Over the last ten years, average energy consumption has increased by more than 3% annually, which would imply that it doubled ever twenty-four years. How-ever, the progonoses are that by the end of the twenty-first century, it will be about four to six times higher than it is today. This is a huge challenge, and very few people are really aware of the seriousness of the problem. I did not invent these figures; everybody can read them in international studies. Unless something is done, we are heading towards huge energy problems in the future. To my mind, there are only two possibilities: nuclear energy and direct conversion of solar heat.
Q: Why should Norway support the building of a nuclear reactor and why should it start work on an international research project on thorium-based nuclear energy?
This is all related to my collaboration with Carlo Rubbia, the 1984 Nobel Prize Laureate in Physics. He was the man behind the idea of an accelerator driven thorium-based nuclear reactor that offers no possibility of a meltdown. His research was so promising that I was sure that the first prototype would soon be built. However, it has never happened due to the different agendas of countries like France, that prefer to replace their existing nuclear power plants with new ones instead of investing in this project. The reason why there has been no action is due to several factors — lack of expertise, lack of funding, etc.
Then this idea came to me that Norway should do it first. First of all, Norway is an important energy nation with advanced technology and with large thorium reserves. It should take special responsibility for the development of such a nuclear reactor. This would, in my mind, be an important Norwegian contribution to preserve the standard of living for future generations.
It is a huge project costing some 550 million Euros, but I am not suggesting that Norway should finance it alone. It should at least guarantee it so that the first proto-type could be built and that we could gather expertise somewhere in order to work on this project for the benefit of the whole world, and not only for one single country. It would not only boost education and expertise in this field in Norway, but also elsewhere.
Q: Is this thorium-based power plant just as efficient as traditional nuclear power stations?
If you burn one kilogram (kg) of thorium, in comparison with today’s use of uranium, you will get 250 times more energy out of it than you would out of the uranium. So, first of all, thorium is far more efficient energy-wise and, secondly, there exists three to four times more thorium in the world than there is uranium — you find it in the United States, Australia, India and Norway. However, if you look for it, important reserves of thorium will be found in many other countries.
CERN’s 1984 Nobel prizewinners Carlo Rubbia (left) and Simon van der Meer © CERN
Q: Talking about nuclear energy, the Chernobyl accident comes to people’s minds.
With the Carlo Rubbia concept, it’s impossible to have the kind of accident that happened in Chernobyl, simply because the reactor will not melt down like it did then. You cannot give that same guarantee in terms of safety for the new nuclear power plants (often called the fourth generation); although I think they will be safer than those constructed earlier.
In addition, by using the Carlo Rubbia concept the problem of nuclear waste will be reduced substantially. Not only will you get less waste, but you will also not obtain the large quantities of plutonium that nations can use for making bombs. Looking at Iran and North Korea, one can wonder whether it is the energy aspect that they were most interested in or the bombs …
What more can we hope? That Professor Lillest?l will succeed in this endeavour and that Norway and other countries will support his battle for this new energy which sounds very appealing…
The new generation of nuclear power plants must have solutions for all of these problems and Accelerator Driven subcritical reactors provide such solutions.

Accelerator Driven Sub-critical Nuclear Reactors for Safe Energy Production and Nuclear Waste Incineration[1]
S.R. Hashemi-Nezhad[2]
School of Physics, A28, University of Sydney, NSW 2006, Australia

Solution to the nuclear safety issue
An ADS will operate under sub-critical conditions (e.g , keff = 0.95-0.98) and the operation of the reactor is directly linked to the operation of the attached accelerator which provides a high energy ion beam to produce spallation neutrons. These neutrons keep the ADS operational i.e. the system remains operational as long as the accelerator functions. The proton beam plays the role of the control bars in the current reactor, with the difference that if it fails, the fission reaction in the system dies out and it can never lead to overheating.
There are many ways to shutdown an accelerator (an electric device) or divert its beam away from the sub-critical reactor core.
Two major nuclear accidents (the Three Mile Island and the Chernobyl) both caused by critical power excursions.
Moreover an ADS fuelled with thorium does not contain 238U and therefore will not breed 239Pu which can be diverted to military applications. In a thorium fuelled ADS the approximate uranium isotope mixture in the subcritical core after an integrated neutron exposure of 3´1022 cm-2 will be[11]; 233U (44%), 234U (30%), 235U (4%), 236U (22%) and 238U (negligible). A very difficult and extremely intensive isotope separation is required to separate “weapon grade” 233U from this type of mixture.
3.3 "Thorium Furnaces"
Our group believes that Australia can become technically and commercially involved in a future commerce in modular ADS/Thorium reactors for both power generation alone in "greenfield" sites and for high level nuclear waste disposal at "brownfield sites" - those existing power stations where demand dictates increased capacity but where accumulating waste is a problem. We believe that Australians can certainly develop and construct the high flux accelerator component. We are negotiating to form a strategic alliance with an experienced European reactor constructor to assist with the reactor component.
The modules are envisaged to be in the 100 megawatt - 1 gigawatt range of output. We call them Thorium furnaces.
The selling points are simple: these units will provide clean, green and safe power, free of any proliferation risks, for any community for the foreseeable future.
We place this vision within about 20 year’s time frame.Basic principles of the ADS operation
The basic principles of the operation of ADS are shown in Fig.5. When this pictorial representation of the ADS is compared with that of the conventional thermal reactors it becomes obvious that the design of a subcritical nuclear reactor will not be dramatically different from that of the conventional reactor. This by itself is an advantage because over 60 years of experience with nuclear reactors can and will be an asset and foundation in design and operation of this new generation of reactors. However major effort must be put to the design of accelerator, beam window, spallation target and fuel rods. Also the type of material that can be used in an ADS must be radiation resistant and can handle large exposure to high energy nuclear particles.

An ADS like any other reactor has a core which in this case has fuel elements made of pellets composed of mixed oxides (MOX) of 232ThO2 and 233UO2 enclosed in an appropriate cladding. The initial amount of the 233U in the rods is for startup purposes, during the ADS operation the consumed 233U will be replaced by 233U bred from 232Th according to the reaction (2). The core and ADS as whole designed in a way that keff < 1. The spallation target is positioned between the fuel rods in the core. The beam of protons from a high-power accelerator is directed towards the spallation target (e.g. lead) to produce spallation neutrons and thus sustain the chain reaction in the system. The reactor core and target are embedded within an environment that acts as neutron and heat storage medium as well as the neutron moderator. We will refer to this medium as M-medium. The type of the material that can be used for M-medium depends on the type of the ADS whether it is a fast or thermal ADS and it must be compatible with the type of the material used for cladding. For fast ADS it is proposed to use the lead as both target and M-medium[16]. In such a case the M-medium will be molten lead.

If material of the M-medium is different from that of the target then target must be enclosed in a leak proof container made of a substance that is corrosive resistant and has high thermal conductivity and high melting point. Tungsten can be a good candidate for this purpose. As most of the energy deposition by the beam happens within the first 20 cm of the target length and considering the beam power of more than 10 MW such a target-system must rapidly dissipate the absorbed heat to the surrounding medium.
The ADS control unit can be equipped with temperature, neutron and other sensors, which will send electronic signals to the accelerator if reading level(s) exceed desired limit, triggering beam abort away from the core. Extra redundant safety units such as those used in conventional reactors can also be added for further safety.

Fig. 5. An Accelerator Driven System equipped with a long-lived fission product transmutation (incineration) facility. A high power proton accelerator is coupled to the subcritical assembly producing spallation neutrons in the lead target which sustain the chain reaction in the core. The fuel rods are made of mixed oxides of thorium and U-233 (or plutonium and minor actinides from the nuclear waste of the conventional reactors). M-material in the diagram referrers to the environment that acts as neutron and heat storage medium as well as neutron moderator.

The heat produced by the fission of the fissile material in the core is stored in the M-medium from which it is transferred to the heat exchangers and electricity generating units in conventional manner.

Inside the reactor vessel and in the vicinity of the core we have placed a fission product transmutation container (FPTC). This is used to consume the available excess neutrons in the system for transmutation of the long-lived fission product isotopes such as 129I and 99Tc. The FPTC is accessible from the outside of the main reactor vessel for loading and discharging the waste in liquid phase.

To exploit all the capabilities of the ADS, its fuel must follow a closed cycle. That is the spent fuel must be processed and partitioned according to the best available methods and technologies. Fig. 6 shows different stages of the closed ADS fuel cycles. After initial cooling stage of the spent fuel, the fissile materials and unused thorium in the spent fuel are separated and are used in new fuel rod fabrication. The long-lived and transmutable fission products are separated for injection into the FPTC. The final un-transmutable wastes are sent to an appropriate waste storage facility where they will be kept for a period of about 500 years. Today’s technology allows us to be confident that such a waste storage will be safe and environmentally harmless.

Obviously the nuclear waste that can be used as fuel and transmutation material is not limited to the waste produced by the ADS itself. In the fabrication of the ADS fuel rods the waste from the conventional critical reactors can be and will be used as well. This provides the long awaited solution for the public concern on the stockpiles of the nuclear waste produced over the last 60 years of operation of nuclear reactors. Fig. 6. A closed fuel cycle for ADS. The MOX fuel refers to the one that is made of mixed oxides of the fissile materials.

Some predictions for future electricity generation in Australia

The electricity generation from fossil fuels, especially coal, will continue for many years although in an improved and more environmentally friendly manner. Due to the massive world demand for energy, the export of the coal and natural gas will not be reduced as a result of installations of the nuclear power plants in Australia and other parts of the world for several decades to come.

Activities in R&D and eventually production of energy from renewable sources will continue and even may accelerate.

For immediate economical, environmental and geopolitical reasons it is not difficult to predict that Australia’s initial involvement in the field of nuclear energy will be in terms of conventional generation three thermal nuclear reactors. Alongside of which uranium enrichment and fuel processing plants will be established. However it will not be possible to avoid ADS technology because of the fact that this type of nuclear system provides the only known and logical method for handling, managing and eliminating the dangerous and environmentally harmful nuclear waste. Australia’s future nuclear power plants beyond those that may be installed after the conclusion of the current nuclear debate will be ADS technology because of the massive thorium recourses of Australia, the safety of these reactors and the cleanness of energy production by the ADS method.

It must be mentioned that involvement in ADS research and development and eventually installations of thorium based Accelerator Driven Systems in Australia will not affect the uranium export. This is due to the number of existing commercial uranium burning nuclear reactors in world (441) and those that are under construction (~15) and those that will be constructed in the future (including those in Australia). The demand for uranium in the world market not only will not decrease but it is expected to increase as fossil fuels become scarcer and willingness for their massive use diminishes.

The impact of the ADS technology to the Australian economy is enormous. Calculations show that if the known thorium resources of Australia (300,000 tonnes) are burnt in accelerator driven sub-critical reactors, it will provide an energy equivalent of 4.31012 barrels of oil. This amount is equivalent to 5800 years of oil export, at a rate of 2 million barrels per day (similar to that of a major oil producing country in the Persian Gulf) or an income of ~ AUS$70109 (US$52109) per year for 5800 years at today’s oil price.
Accelerator driven subcritical nuclear reactors besides producing clean and cheap energy, provide a unique solution for the elimination of plutonium, minor actinides and long-lived fission products in conventional nuclear reactor waste as well as the plutonium from warheads: one of mankind’s unnecessary, unwise, self-destructive, cruel and crude technical achievements, for a peaceful and environmentally clean Earth.

Accelerator driven nuclear reactors can be developed with in 20 years. So what is the point in planning our energy requirement for coming 5o years and procuring unsafe reactors from France and USA at this stag? Instead of spending billions of dollars on these reactors we should spend that money for the development of Accelerator driven subcritical nuclear reactors. I am sure our engineers and scientist are capable of doing it, provided the Govt. gives full support and facility for the purpose. If required we should go in for a joint venture with Norway or Russia like we developed supersonic cruise missiles Brahmos with Russia


India-Pak Foreign Ministerial talks

India-Pak Foreign Ministerial talks on July 27.--Building on the official-level talks, Foreign Ministers of India and Pakistan will meet in New Delhi on July 27 to discuss all aspects of the bilateral relations, particularly focussing on issues like terrorism, Jammu and Kashmir, trade and promotion of bilateral exchanges.External Affairs Minister S M Krishna and newly-appointed Pakistan Foreign Minister Hina Rabbani Kher will hold day-long talks.

Thursday, 21 July 2011

Bangladesh's highest state honour for Indira Gandhi

Bangladesh will honour former Prime Minister Indira Gandhi with its highest state award for her outstanding contribution to the country's 1971 'Liberation War'."The cabinet has decided to confer Mrs Indira Gandhi with our highest state honour, 'Bangladesh Swadhinata Sanmanona'. So far she would be the lone recipient of the honour," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasinas press secretary Abul Kalam Azad told the news agency today.It decided to confer the highest state honour on the assassinated Indian prime minister for her "tremendous contribution" to the country's Liberation War.

"The daughter-in-law of Mrs Gandhi and Indian Congress Party president Sonia Gandhi will receive the award from President Zillur Rahman on July 25 at Bangabhaban presidential palace at a special ceremony," Azad said.

The Pakistan army conducted widespread atrocities against the civilian populations of East Pakistan, which later became Bangladesh.The late Indian premier traveled across the world to mobilise support for the people of East Pakistan amid a massive crackdown on civilians by the Pakistan Army.

According to official figures, Pakistani troops, aided by local collaborators, killed an estimated 3 million people, raped about 200,000 women and forced millions more to leave their homes during the bloody nine-month guerrilla war.India had to face a huge refugee crisis as an estimated one crore people fled their homes to evade atrocities by the Pakistani troops.

Earlier reports said that the government also plans to rechristen an important road in the memory of the former Indian prime minister.

A separate monument would also be built to honour Indian defence personnel martyred in the 1971 war.Former Indian Foreign Minister Sardar Swaran Singh, who played a significant role, will be accorded special honour as well, according to sources.
Azad said the cabinet also decided to acknowledge the contribution of 47 other "foreign friends" and five international organisations to the countrys independence movement.

They would be conferred with awards under two categories, 'Muktijuddho Sanmanona' and 'Muktijuddho Maitree Sanmanona'.Hasinas press secretary did not name the recipients of the awards in second and third categories.But officials familiar with the process said the list had distinguished foreigners, includeing former heads of states and governments and organisations such as the International Red Cross.They would be honoured on December 16, 2011, coinciding with the countrys 40th Victory Day.Sonia will visit Dhaka on July 25 at the invitation of Hasina to open an international autistic conference.

"Sonia Gandhi wears many hats. She is a family member of Indira Gandhi who was our great friend during our war for freedom, the President of Congress and the Chairperson of UPA. We are very much looking forward to the visit of Sonia Gandhi," Bangladesh Foreign Minister Dipu Moni told reporters earlier this month.Earlier, a high-level national committee had been set up to prepare a list 500 foreign friends to be honoured.It included 226 Indians and 40 Pakistanis.However, the government subsequently shortlisted 47 of them and five organisations to be honoured in December.

Shahriar Kabir, the committee's member and Liberation War researcher, told the news agency that Bangladesh missions abroad would organise special functions in the near future to honour others on the list (of 500 people) in their home countries.

On March 26, 1971, Bangladesh - then East Pakistan -declared its independence from West Pakistan.The Pakistan Army surrendered to the allied forces of the Indian army and the Mukti Bahini on 16 December 1971, which resulted in Bangladesh becoming an independent nation.

Wednesday, 20 July 2011

Cash-for-vote scam:

Delhi Police on Wednesday arrested one Suhail Hindustani in connection with the cash for vote scam. This is the second arrest in the case. A Police spokesman told our Correspondent that Hindustani was arrested under the Prevention of Corruption Act following his seven-hour questioning by the Delhi Police Crime Branch.

Delhi Police plans to seek the views of the Home Ministry on questioning Parliament Member, Amar Singh in the case.

Rajya Sabha Secretary General, V.K. Agnihotri said that no permission for questioning Amar Singh has been sought from the Chairman of Rajya Sabha.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

US committed to implement civil nuke deal with India

United States on Tuesday said, it is fully committed to the implementation of India-US Civil Nuclear deal. The assurance came after the NSG recently revised its guidelines on supply of modern technology for Enrichment and Reprocessing, ENR, to the states, which are not signatory to the Non-Proliferation Treaty. Addressing a joint press conference in New Delhi after two-and-a-half hour talks with her Indian counterpart S.M. Krishna, the US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton said that issues, including nuclear liability and ratifying the convention on supplementary compensation by India before the year-end need to be addressed.

Ms Clinton said, India and America are making great strides in expanding their ties on security and counter terrorism. After the second Indo-US Strategic Dialogue in New Delhi on Tuesday, she said that strengthening of military ties between the two countries including the sale of defence technologies will help the Indian-American militaries to work together in a constructive way and to strengthen maritime security. On trade ties, the US Secretary of State said, both the countries can take further steps to reduce barriers, open up markets and encourage business partnerships to create jobs and opportunities for millions of people.

Hasan Ali stashed $800 mn

Enforcement Directorate on Monday told the Bombay High Court that Hasan Ali Khan, arrested for alleged money laundering, has stashed 800 million dollars in banks in countries like the US, Switzerland and Singapore and has links with officials of these banks.Justice A M Thipsay was hearing a bail application filed by Khan after a sessions court rejected his bail plea. The matter will be heard on July 26. The affidavit states that

Khan and his aide Kashinath Tapuriah have deep links with bank officials in the US, Switzerland, Singapore, UAE and other countries. These officials have assisted the duo in operating bank accounts and transfer of funds. Letters Rogatory have been issued to Switzerland, the US, the UK, UAE, Singapore and Hong Kong for verification of bank accounts and as of now only the US has sent a reply. It said, reply to Letters Rogatory from the US confirms that an amount of 7 lakh dollars was transferred from Bank Sarasin, Switzerland to an account in New York operated by Khan.Additional Solicitor General Darius Khambatta, appeared for the Enforcement Directorate.Alleging that Khan has links with international arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, Khambatta said, in 2003, 300 million dollars were apparently received by Khan from Khashoggi from weapon sales.ED further stated that the investigations have revealed a conspiracy to commit offences against the security and safety of the

Monday, 18 July 2011

Shooting at religious festival in Thai

A minor girl along an official were killed,another 11 people were inured when a group of gunmen opened fire at a crowd during annual religious festival in Thailand's Surat Thani Temple on Monday, the Bangkok Post daily reported.Police said at least six gunmen exited a vehicle and began shooting at Songwut Noppakhun, an official of the Surat Thani Provincial Administrative Organization. More than 10 spent bullet cartridges were found at the scene.Songwut was killed in the shooting and a five-year-old girl was hit by a stray bullet and died on her way to the hospital.

Sunday, 17 July 2011

Mayawati expel-Kushwaha-Mishra

Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) begins probe into the murder of Dr YS Sachan and the opposition parties,attak on the NHRM scam, UP chief minister Mayawati on Sunday began a cleanup exercise of her coterie.Media reports Maya has removed her close aide,former minister Baburam Kushwaha as the national general secretary of her party. Kushwaha,once a phone operator with Mayawati had free access to the CM,only minister to have a room inside the Mall Avenue house of the BSP supremo once upon a time.Mayawati has ordered him to vacate his official residence.
Next in-line former Health minister Anant Kumar Mishra alias 'Antoo Mishra' too has been given the same treatment. Both these ministers names cropped up after the killing of CMO Dr BP Singh. Mayawati is so livid with the duo, banned their entry into official residence of the chief minister.

Saturday, 16 July 2011

Union government file review petition in Apex Court

Union government has filed a review petition in the Supreme Court seeking to reconsider its earlier judgement of handing over the investigation in black money case to Special Investigating Team (SIT). The government in its review petition has contended that the job of investigation into an offence is the job of statutory investigation agency and such agency cannot be subjected to the supervision of retired judges, bureaucrats or private individuals and such a course amounts to expressing lack of faith in the investigating agency. The Union government has prayed for stay of the operation of the SIT order passed on the 5th of this month. The government has also pleaded that the matter may be referred to a larger bench.

Friday, 15 July 2011

Embassy of Colombia, Biggest Salsa Concert in New Delhi -22ndJuly

Embassy of Colombia, in association with ICCR, will be putting the best efforts for the Biggest Salsa Concert in New Delhi with “LA REPUBLICA” or “The Republic”. Embassy of Colombia, under the leadership of, Juan Alfredo Pinto, has been successful in celebrating the occasion of the Independence of their nation with big Salsa Concerts.Siri Fort Auditorium, August Kranti Marg, New Delhi - 110049 07/22/2011 6:30pm-9pm

Thursday, 14 July 2011

Serial Blasts in Mumbai

Serial Blasts in Mumbai
• Ministry of Home Affairs have taken a complete review of the information/data related to yesterday’s blasts.

• There is no specific information as of now about the involvement of any specific organization/group and we are not ruling out any possibility.

• Most of the bodies have been identified. There can be several possibilities about the one badly mutilated body. It cannot be said for sure that the person was a suicide bomber.

• Indian Mujahideen operatives who were arrested some days prior to the blasts are being interrogated. If any related information is divulged, we will share it.

Three powerful explosions hit Mumbai

Three powerful explosions have hit Mumbai on Wednesday evening. The first blast occurred in the ‘Opera House’ area of Mumbai. Second blast occurred at a bus stop near Dadar West railway station. The third blast occurred in the busy business area of Zaveri Bazaar.Nine person killed at Zaveri Bazar and bomb was kept in umbrella.
An unidentified bag is found in Santa Cruz Mall and its investigations are on. Mumbai Police and the fire brigade have rushed to the site of explosions. Security has been beefed up across Mumbai.Unofficial reports put Twenty five persons have been killed and more than hundred person injured as per the reports available from the electronic channels and further reports of casualty is awaited.Dadar blast is of high intensity. Dogs-squad,Fire brigade,Police authorities has reached at Zaveri Bazaar.

Maharashtra’s Public Works Department Minister, Mr. Chhagan Bhujbal has said that looking at the intensity of the explosions; it seems to be a bomb blast. He has appealed to the people not to panic and stay calm.Police sources said the nature and intensity of the blasts was not known.Home Minister addressed the media and said he has talked to the State home ministers and there is no sign of any other blasts and Mumbai is put on high alert.

Tuesday, 12 July 2011

Focused strategy for manufacturing sector:Montek

Planning Commission Deputy Chairman Montek Singh Ahluwalia today said a focused strategy is required to accelerate growth in the manufacturing sector. Talking to Media person in New Delhi, he said the country needs to fast-pace its economic growth and manufacturing would form a major component of any such acceleration.Mr. Ahluwalia expressed his concern over the sluggish growth in industrial output in May, He, however said the May numbers could not be seen as "predictive" for entire fiscal.He said the thrust has to be on accelerating the manufacturing sector, which constitutes over 75 per cent of the total factory output.Mr. Ahluwalia said more focus will be on the strategy for accelerating growth in manufacturing while preparing for the 12th Plan.

Monday, 11 July 2011

Why-this-Cabinet reshuffle tough job?

Dr Singh to meet UPA Chairperson Sonia Gandhi Sunday over the impending cabinet reshuffle to ensure strength of floor is maintained and controversial names are minimum in the new cabinet.To keep the unity of-UPA-coalition "There is a lot of writing and speculations whether the alliance between Congress and DMK is continuing or not. My respectful submission would be, this alliance is there, the alliance will continue and it will be strengthened," Mr Mukherjee said.DMK declined to name replacements for the berths vacated by A. Raja and Dayanidhi Maran-Kanimozhi,chief Karunanidhi is reluctant to send any replacements.Dr Manmohan Singh and UPA chairperson Sonia Gandhi on Monday meeting today at 7 Race Course Road to discuss delayed cabinet reshuffle. Monday-meet 5th meeting between Manmohan Singh and Sonia Gandhi ahead of the cabinet reshuffle.Prime Minister has asked the Minister of State for Railways, Mukul Roy, to visit the site of a major train accident in Assam
TCC tipped Union-Cabinet Minister.

Agriculture Offers Huge Opportunities Planet -7 bn

Washington, D.C:World Population Day: Agriculture Offers Huge Opportunities for a Planet of 7 Billion:Worldwatch's Nourishing the Planet team highlights sustainable ways to feed a growing population while also providing economic opportunities and enhancing the environment. As the global population increases, so does the number of mouths to feed. As we observe World Population Day on July 11th, the good news is that in addition to providing food, innovations in sustainable agriculture can provide a solution to many of the challenges that a growing population presents.

"Agriculture is emerging as a solution to mitigating climate change, reducing public health problems and costs, making cities more livable, and creating jobs in a stagnant global economy," said Danielle Nierenberg, Director of Worldwatch Institute's Nourishing the Planet project, a two-year evaluation of environmentally sustainable agricultural innovations to alleviate hunger.
This year, the world's population will hit 7 billion, according to the United Nations. Reaching this unprecedented level of population density has prompted the U.N. Population Fund (UNFPA) to launch a "7 Billion Actions" campaign to promote individuals and organizations that are using successful new techniques for tackling global development challenges. By sharing these innovations in an open forum, the campaign aims to foster communication and collaboration as our world becomes more populated and increasingly interdependent.
Not even demographers can actually forecast how many people will be added to world population over the coming century, noted Robert Engelman, a population expert and Worldwatch Executive Director. As more women and their partners gain access to reproductive health services and manage their own childbearing, average family size has fallen significantly in recent decades and could continue to do so, assuming expanded support for reproductive health and improvements in women's autonomy and status. The likelihood of continued population growth for some time, however, remains high. And that will add to the need to harness the ingenuity of human beings to sustain both people and the planet.
"We'll have to learn how to moderate our consumption of materials and energy and to jumpstart new technologies that conserve them," Engelman said. Innovations in farming will be among the most important: with planning, agriculture can operate not only as a less-consumptive industry, but also one that works in harmony with the environment.
Researchers with Nourishing the Planet ( traveled to 25 countries across sub-Saharan Africa to meet with more than 350 farmers groups, NGOs, government agencies, and scientists, highlighting small-scale agricultural efforts that are helping to improve peoples' livelihoods by providing them with food and income. The findings are documented in the recently released report, State of the World 2011: Innovations that Nourish the Planet.
Nourishing the Planet's research in Africa has unveiled innovative and cost-effective approaches to agriculture where farmers are treating land as a resource rather than solely as a means for food production. Many of these solutions are scalable and can be adapted to farming systems around the world. "The global connections go beyond Africa. Everyone is in this together in more ways than one," said Nierenberg.

Nourishing the Planet recommends four ways that agriculture is helping to address the challenges that a growing global population will bring. Urban agriculture for nutritious food and a cooler climate. The U.N. predicts that 65 percent of the global population will live in cities by 2050. Urban agriculture provides an increasing number of city residents with fruits and vegetables, leading to improved nutrition and food security. Urban farms are already gaining popularity around the world, from the Victory Programs' ReVision Urban Farm in Boston, to Lufa Farms in Montreal, to the slums of Kibera in Nairobi, Kenya. Farming for employment and education. Opportunities in agriculture can reduce poverty and empower a growing population. In Los Angeles county, the organization Farmscape Gardens has helped tackle a 16 percent unemployment rate by hiring workers to establish and maintain edible gardens. To teach the local community about food and agriculture, L.A.'s Fremont High School established a school garden of 1.5 acres that is open to students and the greater community. And in Uganda, project DISC (Developing Innovations in School Cultivation) partnered with Slow Food International to develop 17 school gardens that are used to educate students about growing, harvesting, and preparing nutritious local foods.
· Agroecology for a healthier environment. Agroecology, which offers numerous benefits to the environment while also feeding people, includes organic agriculture, agroforestry, conservation agriculture, and evergreen agriculture. In Niger, farmers promote the re-greening of dried farmland by allowing spontaneous regeneration of woody species. The restored growth has provided farmers with wind breaks, decreased evaporation, sequestered carbon, and provided non-timber forest products. In the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency has partnered with representatives from metropolitan Washington, D.C. to create the Chesapeake Bay Program watershed partnership. Through collaboration, the group has developed policies, laws, incentives and best practices for farmers whose production zone lies within the local watershed. These agroecological practices, including cover crops, planting riparian forest butters, and practicing conservation tillage, have helped preserve the Bay.
· Innovations in food waste to make the most of what we have. According to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization, industrialized countries waste 222 million tons of food annually, or almost as much as sub-Saharan Africa's 230 million tons of net food production per year. Decreasing food waste makes it possible to feed people across the planet without increasing agricultural production. In Washington, D.C., the D.C. Central Kitchen Project partners with area restaurants and food suppliers to pick up food that would otherwise go to waste. Volunteers prepare the food and redistribute it as meals to the city's poor. In central and eastern Africa, a partnership between Bayer Crop Science and the International Potato Center hopes to develop a sweet potato that is resistant to pests and diseases, which are responsible for 50 to 100 percent of crop losses among poor farmers in the region.

British royals back-home after dazzling tour

July 11, 2011-British royals back home after dazzling tour: Britain's Prince William and his new wife Catherine headed home Sunday after twelve north American tour during which they were greeted as rock stars, and even outshone Hollywood celebrities.Royal couple, making their first official overseas trip since marrying in April, were feted from Canada's far north to the Californian sun of the US west coast.A few protestors in Canada's French-speaking province of Quebec, the public hailed the newlyweds as the new down-to-earth modern face of the British monarchy. British royal couple,both 29, looking forward to returning to their cottage in north Wales after the busy honeymoon-visit,began on June 30.

Canada, the duke and duchess of Cambridge paddled in a canoe in the far north, shared the grief of thousands displaced by forest fires in Alberta and snuggled in a rustic wooden cabin in the Rockies.William also took time to pilot a Sea King helicopter into a lake in emergency water landing drills in Prince Edward Island.

Huge crowds turned out daily to welcome them and millions more watched their adventure on television.On their last Canadian stop in Calgary, the couple took in a night of rodeo chuck wagon races, bull riding and "mutton busting" for kids, and rode in 1912 stagecoach, all part of Calgary's world-famous annual Stampede.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper called the trip "the beginning of a beautiful and lasting friendship, one of deep affection and loyalty ... We look forward to sharing more of our splendid country with them on their next Royal Tour."

"I say, we haven't seen a love-in like that since the first visit of the Beatles!" Harper told a private reception. "Indeed, everywhere you went you left a trail of utterly charmed Canadians in your wake."

William will one day become head of state of Canada, a member of the Commonwealth which is mostly proud of its British connections, so its choice as the prince's first post-wedding trip was a fairly safe move.California was a less obvious one but the couple had few problems charming the West Coast during a lightning three-day visit which started when they landed in Los Angeles on Friday.

Highlight of the weekend was a black-tie dinner for Hollywood A-listers including Tom Hanks, Nicole Kidman and Barbra Streisand on Saturday night.Hundreds of fans gathered outside the Belasco Theater in downtown LA, cheering as the usual celebrities arrived for the red carpet entry -- but screaming the place down when William and Catherine arrived.

On Sunday the couple visited a children's arts project in the deprived Skid Row area of downtown Los Angeles, before a final event honoring US servicemen and helping them and their families.William found time to take a dig at his younger brother Harry -- after making a clay turtle at the arts project, he asked the children: "Should we give it a name? Is it a boy or a girl?" at which they squealed: "Boy!"
"Should we name it Harry?" the prince replied, before relenting and calling it William.Catherine has drawn admiring comments for her elegant style and dress sense she reportedly brought 40 outfits for the 12-day trip.On Friday she wore a vibrant green Diane Von Furstenberg dress in the evening. At the polo she was in a silver and marble grey number by Jenny Packham, before switching to a flowing lilac dress by Alexander McQueen.One criticism initially made of the California leg of the trip was the lack of contact with the public -- they did lots of walkabouts in Canada, but security appeared to be tighter in Los Angeles.This was rectified when they slipped the protocol to shake hands with fans at the Saturday night celebrity event, and they did so again on Sunday morning, before their Skid Row visit.Media-agencies

Saturday, 9 July 2011

Lunch of "90 Minutes" – India’s Most Comprehensive Magazine

9th July, 2011, Kolkata: Trequartista Media, a Kolkata based publishing house, today announced the launch of 90 Minutes – a magazine dedicated to the sport of football. The magazine, to be published on a monthly basis, will consist of both international and Indian content. 90 Minutes will initially be distributed in Kolkata, New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Pune, Guwahati and Shillong and the distribution will be expanded to other cities in the future.

The editorial team includes Mr. John Duerden, a renowned writer who writes regularly for publications of the stature of the Guardian, as Managing Editor, and Atishay Agarwal, who is one of the founders of the magazine, as Editor. Also Michael Cox, a renowned United Kingdom-based writer, who runs the award-winning website and also regularly writes for the Guardian, will be a columnist. In addition, content will also be contributed by guest Indian footballers from time to time, as well as by authors on football from across the world. This outstanding global content will be enhanced with the inclusion of specially selected images from the world's top notch football photographers.

The debut issue of 90 Minutes in the month of July will feature an exclusive interview with Dutch legend and captain at the 2010 World Cup, Giovanni Van Bronckhorst. It will also have interviews with Indian star Sunil Chhetri and national team coach Armando Colaco, in addition to a host of feature articles and fun snippets.

Says Atishay Agarwal, Editor, 90 Minutes, “This magazine is a dream come true for the entire team that has worked incredibly hard for many months, and won over several doubters. Also, I'm sure it will also fill the void in the hearts of all football fans in the country, who have never had a magazine to read on their favourite sport. The football movement in the country is growing rapidly, and we are highly excited about being a part of it, and perhaps playing a significant role in it.”
Also speaking on the occasion, Managing Editor John Duerden said, “Magazines are an important part of the whole football culture that needs to exist for football to thrive. Things are changing in Asia. Fans are more sophisticated and they also want high-level coverage of the game but they also want coverage that is relevant to them.
“It is important that Indian fans have an Indian magazine. It is not a UK magazine distributed in India but a magazine written, mostly, by Indian lovers of football. The team behind 90 minutes knows what Indian fans want and need.”
90 minutes will target an audience primarily within the age group of 13-30 who are extremely passionate about football. The magazine will be easily available in the mentioned cities and will be priced at only Rs. 50, thus making it accessible to everyone that is interested, especially the youth.

The magazine will use the power of the printed word and compelling visuals to deliver expertise, deep analysis and insight and will contain the views of various authors on football happenings, teams, players, coaches etc. In addition, it will also contain a poster every month. Details about how to subscribe and advertise in the magazine is available on the magazine website
About Trequartista Media

Trequartista Media is a joint venture between Atishay Agarwal and Venkatesha Sharma, who are both 24, engineers by qualification, and football lovers. Both refused to take up engineering-related jobs after college to concentrate on this dream project. The former has himself formerly been an Editor and Chief Editor of India, which is the country’s biggest existing website for football, and part of, the largest online football community worldwide. The entire team at Trequartista is young, all with differing talents, but with one common unifying factor – Love for the game.,